|OLYMPIA, Wash. – As the economy continues to struggle and more people lose their jobs, it may be tempting to drop auto insurance to save money. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler urges consumers to look for ways to save on their coverage rather than break the law and run the risk of being uninsured. |
“In today’s economy, people are cutting corners wherever they can, but cancelling your insurance is not the answer,” said Kreidler. “Instead, shop around to find a lower rate. I continue to be surprised by how much some consumers save simply by shopping around. It will save you money now and could protect you from complete financial ruin in the future.”
Kreidler offers these tips to save on auto insurance:
Compare rates – You may save money just by making a few extra calls or getting a couple more online quotes. Make sure you provide the same information to each insurer so rates are directly comparable.
Ask about discounts – Discounts can vary widely between companies. For example, many insurers offer a lower premium if they also cover your home. Others charge less if your vehicle has safety features such as antilock brakes, airbags and automatic seat belts. You may save even more if your car has an alarm or anti-theft device. And if you have young drivers in your household, be sure to ask if good-student discounts are available.
Increase your deductible – This is the amount you'll pay out of pocket if you have to make a claim. Raising it to $500 or $1,000 can mean lower premiums.
Drop some coverage – If your vehicle is paid off, consider dropping the comprehensive and collision coverage. Be aware, though, that your insurer won’t pay for damages to your car if you are in an accident.
Consolidate payments – Pay your premium in full every six months to avoid fees for financing monthly payments.
Drive safely – If you have a good driving record, without tickets and accidents, you will pay less for insurance.
The Washington State Department of Licensing requires all drivers to have insurance on their vehicles. Details are available at www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/insurance.html.
Kreidler also urges people to call his Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-562-6900 if they would like more information about auto insurance.